Bicycle Accidents in DC

Every year, more people are discovering how great bicycling can be a way to get around, get exercise, and avoid the expense of having a car. There are a lot of benefits to cycling; however, one thing cars will always have over bikes is relative safety for their passengers. Bicyclists generally have one primary safety feature, a helmet. When a car and a vehicle get into an accident, the cyclist almost always loses.

Even though most people in Washington D.C. still get around by car or public transportation, the number of people commuting by bike has grown at a rate similar to other major cycling cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. The good news is that as the number of bike commuters grows nationwide, the number of fatal accidents has generally gone down. However, safer driving by drivers and safer cycling by cyclists can help reduce the number of accidents involving bicycles.

Even though most people in Washington D.C. still get around by car or public transportation, the number of people commuting by bike has grown at a rate similar to other major cycling cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. The good news is that as the number of bike commuters grows nationwide, the number of fatal accidents has generally gone down. However, safer driving by drivers and safer cycling by cyclists can help reduce the number of accidents involving bicycles.

When a car and a bike meet in an accident, the driver may have no injuries at all. They may have little-to-no damage done to their vehicle, and in some cases, they may not have even noticed the accident. However, for cyclists, it is a different story. A low-speed collision with a car can be fatal for a cyclist, especially if they are not wearing a helmet. Helmets offer protection for cyclists against blunt force trauma to the head, concussions, and skull fractures.

Even with a helmet protecting the cyclist's skull, they can still suffer road rash, lacerations, broken bones, internal injuries, back injury, or puncture wounds. Minor wounds can result in serious infection if they are not properly attended to and cleaned out. Many such injuries result in permanent scarring.

If a cyclist is hit by a car at high speed, or the driver happens to run over the cyclist, even a helmet may not do much to protect the cyclist. High-speed collisions involving cyclists often result in fatal injuries. With little protection between a cyclist and a heavy, fast moving vehicle, cyclists can be struck and thrown from their bike, impacting the road or getting crushed underneath the vehicle.

Causes of Bicycle Accidents

Cyclists and drivers are often at odds over who to blame for bicycle accidents. Drivers blame cyclists for ignoring traffic signals or weaving between cars, and cyclists point the finger at drivers for failing to yield, not looking out for cyclists, and failing to give them enough room when passing. Many drivers are not even aware what the traffic laws are regarding bikes on the road.

There are a number of causes of bicycle accidents. Some are the fault of cyclists, some are the fault of vehicles, and in some cases, the city may share in the fault of the accident. Whatever the cause, a bike accident can leave the cyclist with serious injuries, expensive medical bills, lost wages, and expensive bike repairs. An injured cyclist may find it difficult to deal with the driver and their insurance company to get compensated for their losses. However, an experienced bicycle injury attorney will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on getting back on your bike.

About one-third of all bike injuries involve cyclists who are hit by cars. In urban environments like Washington D.C., drivers may be speeding, not looking out for cyclists, or driving too close to cyclists and end up hitting the rider. Other drivers may be intoxicated, texting on their phones, or fiddling with the radio and not see a cyclist in front of them. These negligent drivers may be responsible for the injuries caused if they hit a cyclist on the road.

In other accidents, the cyclist may be at fault. Some cyclists run stop signs or traffic signals, or listening to music and not paying attention to the traffic around them. Other cyclists may be riding late at night while intoxicated and veer off into traffic. In these situations, the cyclist may be partially at fault for the accident.

Bicycle Accident Lawyers

If you were injured in a bicycle accident, you should talk to an experienced DC personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. If a loved one was killed in an accident, you may bring a wrongful death lawsuit to make sure the person responsible is held accountable. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options. You should not have to suffer due to someone else's negligence. Do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.

Let Us Help

If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.

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